The updates bring new additions to iPad and Mac such as the Stage Manager feature, while PayPal is offering passkey support for iPhone, iPad and Mac users.
Apple has released a batch of software updates, rolling out iOS 16.1, iPad OS 16.1 and MacOS 13 (Ventura) with a range of new capabilities for its products.
iPhone users have already had a taste of iOS 16 as it was released in September when Apple unveiled the iPhone 14 and new smartwatches. The iPad and Mac updates are more significant.
iPad OS 16.1
The iPad OS update has brought new tools to the Mail app, such as reminders to come back to a message at a later date, automatic suggestions to follow up on emails and automatic alerts when a user has forgotten to include a recipient or attachment in an email.
It also introduces the iCloud Shared Photo Library, where up to six people can contribute to creating a collection of memories.
Apple said this feature makes it easy for users to share all of their existing photos from their personal libraries, share based on a start date or from specific people in their photos. Every user that is on the same Shared Photo Library can add, delete, edit or favourite their shared photos and videos.
The Messages app has also received new collaboration features. When users send an invitation to collaborate through this app, everyone on the thread is automatically added to the document, spreadsheet or project. Any changes a user makes to a shared document appears at the top of the thread.
Users can also invite others to SharePlay on Messages to enjoy a shared activity in sync while they chat on the app. Apple said shared activity examples include movies, TV shows, workouts and games.
The latest Mac OS update also brings changes to the Mail app. Users will now be able to schedule messages, cancel delivery of a message before it reaches an inbox and add “rich links” for better previews of content.
Apple said new state-of-the-art techniques have made searching easier on the app, helping users find recent emails, contacts, documents and photos. Apple said the software is also better at predicting what the user is looking for “before they even start typing”.
MacOS Ventura has also received the Continuity Camera feature. This lets users connect their iPhone to be used as a webcam for their Mac.
Like the iPad update, MacOS Ventura also brings updates to the Messages app and introduces the Shared Photo Library.
One of the new features for both the iPad and Mac is Stage Manager, which is designed to automatically organise apps and windows to help users see everything at a glance while focusing on single tasks.
When this feature is activated, Apple said the current window a user is working in is displayed in the centre, while other windows appear on the left so they can be easily accessed.
However, there are reportedly issues with Stage Manager on the iPad, with a batch of confusing behaviours and bugs. The Verge reports that the iPad Stage Manager is just “another app switcher”, with apps crashing when they’re resized and multiple windows being resized when a single one is changed.
PayPal passkey support
Meanwhile, online payment services company PayPal has announced it is now supporting passkeys, with this feature first available to iPhone, iPad and Mac users.
Passkeys are a new way to log in for users, designed to replace passwords. PayPal said these passkeys use “cryptographic key pairs”, which provide a simple and secure way to log in as the technology is resistant to phishing.
PayPal said it will expand passkey support to additional platforms in the future, once those platforms add support for passkeys.
These passkeys were developed by the FIDO Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium. In May, Apple, Google and Microsoft shared a commitment to move away from passwords on their products.
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